6 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Using Direct Mail

1. Not having the right mailing list

Despite common belief, it isn’t the design, the colours or the copy that are the most important part of a direct mail campaign – it’s not having the right mailing list. If you’re sending mailshots to those who are highly unlikely to have any interest in your product or service, you are going to be wasting a vast amount of resources.

Direct mail marketing is expensive, so you need to make sure you’re only targeting those who are likely to respond.

If you’re struggling with establishing a mailing list, an ecommerce fulfilment or mailing fulfilment company might be able to help. They may have targeted a market similar to yours for other customers, so should be able to provide you with details of potential customers.

2. Not using a letter

Letters feel personal – even if they’re not. If you can edit each letter to include the receivers name, even better.

3. Not having an offer

In this era of coupons and Groupons, consumers expect a great deal. Include an offer in your mailshot, such as ‘20% off your next purchase’ and you will gain a much better response than if you simply advertise your product or service at full price.

Including a free sample of your product is also a great idea. People like to try before they buy – it removes the element of risk. If they get to try your product for free and they like it, they are highly likely to choose your product over a competitors (particularly if you also include a discount in the mailshot).

If this sounds like a lot of effort, consider using the services of a mailing fulfilment company. They can package, address and send the mailshot on your behalf.

4. Giving the wrong first impression

Research has shown that people read for five seconds before they decide whether or not continue. This means the first words on your mailshot are the most important.

You first few words must arouse curiosity. Try asking an enticing or provocative question, stating a surprising statistic or explaining your offer.

If you need some more help, consult the assistance of a mailing fulfilment company. They deal with direct mail marketing campaigns all the time so should have a good idea of what will and will not work.

5. Not being creative

This ties in with point four; if you’re not creative your target audience might not even give your mailshot a second glance – let alone read those first few words you’ve put so much effort into making enticing.

You could use sounds or smells, or even create a pop-up mailshot.

Of course, these additions will increase the cost of your campaign. Be careful with your budget. If you can, restrict the size of your mailing list – the less people you are marketing to, the more creative you can be with your campaign.

A final point

Creating and distributing mailshots can be expensive. However, the cost can surprisingly be reduced by employing an ecommerce fulfilment or mailing fulfilment company.

Due to the number of packages these companies send, they can negotiate competitive prices for materials and delivery. The savings can then be passed onto their clients.

This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Hallmark Consumer Services. Hallmark offer a variety of fulfilment services including direct mailing fulfilment, stock handling and distribution.